Thanks Argonaut for airport article; corrects a misquote in her statement

To the Editor:

Friends of Sunset Park thanks your newspaper for continuing to cover the Santa Monica Airport issues. In particular, I would like to thank the reporter for researching the very complex airport safety issue.

In response to a November 1st letter, “Pilot disputes Santa Monica Airport jet numbers and crash assertions,” I was misquoted in The Argonaut on the following: I communicated to the reporter that 50 percent of jet traffic at the Santa Monica Airport is C and D category aircraft, not 50 percent of the total air traffic at the airport.

In fact, statistics published in the Santa Monica Airport Design Standards Study Addendum show that 55 percent of the jet traffic in 2003 consisted of C and D category aircraft, for a total of 8,932 operations that year. The statistics also showed an upward trend in usage of these aircraft.

Contrary to the letter writer’s assertions that Santa Monica’s proposed ordinance is not “rationally and factually based,” I refer him to the FAA ARC-5300 airport design safety standards for the various categories of aircraft safety standards which the Santa Monica Airport does not meet.

As for the destruction that a business jet aircraft can do, one need only refer to the recent crash of a Learjet in Sao Paolo, Brazil which destroyed several homes and killed eight people, two in the aircraft and six on the ground.

Cathy Larson,, Santa Monica resident,, Friends of Sunset Park, Airport Committee

From the Editor:

In The Argonaut, October 18th issue,”Council takes steps to improve runway safety,” the article stated that Category C and DÝjet aircraft account for over 50 percent of air traffic at the Santa Monica Airport. As explained in the above letter, this was a misquote of Cathy Larson’s statement. The Argonaut regrets the error.

According to Robert Trimborn, acting director of the airport, jet airplanes in Categories C and D make up approximately 50 percent of the jet operations — landings and takeoffs — at the airport.

Says Westchester Parkway cyclists use auto lane; wants to keep them off the road til 9 a.m.

To the Editor:

A few days ago I encountered bike riders on Westchester Parkway. They have become a nuisance. For some reason, they think the road is all theirs. There were about 40-plus riders in the morning, not riding in the bike lane that was intended for them, but riding in the first lane for cars.

Because they think they have the right-of-way, that morning they started banging on my car, which upset my daughter. I was in my lane.

I propose a solution — no bike riders on Westchester Parkway before 9 a.m. After that the traffic would be lighter and they can have the road, because that bike lane means nothing to them.

Kathy L. Bell, Westchester

Why should Mothers Beach be given to hotel guests from the other 49 states?

To the Editor:

Why should Mothers Beach be given to hotel guests from 49 other states when the federal mandate that established Marina del Rey gives it to Los Angeles County citizens — and not to its Board of Supervisors.

The supervisor’s approval of too many applications for the large projects of their developer-contributors will leave this community with no views, heavy traffic, higher property taxes, higher insurance rates and noise at night near residences.

It is the supervisors’ current piece-meal intention to overdevelop from Palawan Way to Tahiti Way with a two-level shopping center, two hotels and four large condo/apartment buildings, none with adequate parking as required by law. The other side of the Marina will be equally dense, replacing a relaxed environment with commerce, commerce, commerce.

It is suspect that the supervisors have permitted so many lessees’ buildings and boat slips to become shabby and thus “require” a massive redevelopment with no master plan and questionable changes to the Local Coastal Plan.

Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission hearings take place downtown with developers heard before community members. The California Coastal Commission meetings discuss our community in distant and rescheduled meetings — dedicated members of our community drove to San Luis Obispo to be heard at a recent meeting.

As a voter and a taxpayer, I am absolutely disgusted with this undemocratic “process.” Many letters to The Argonaut show a mounting chorus of dissent. County Supervisor Don Knabe says nothing.

Lynne Shapiro, Marina del Rey

Reports on Del Rey schools meeting

To the Editor:

It is well known that no one moves to Del Rey for the public schools. Those with smarts or means make other arrangements.

Last Wednesday the Del Rey Homeowners and Neighbors Association held a forum on public schools in the Del Rey community. Notifications were sent out to the association members and Del Rey Neighborhood Council registered stakeholders, and The Argonaut published advance notice of the meeting.

The turnout was not gratifying but we had enough forÝthe usualÝchoir practice. Del Rey, a community of over 30,000 residents, apparently, just doesn’t give a damn.

The principals of Short Avenue, Braddock Drive, Stoner Avenue and Playa del Rey Elementary Schools, Marina del Rey Middle School and Venice High School all gave reports on their schools and took questions. Our School Board member also spoke. These educators have no illusions about what they are up against.

Short Avenue, Braddock Drive and Playa del Rey Elementary Schools report good improving test scores and more support from the parents and booster groups.

Stoner Avenue Elementary School reports test results show minor improvements but are a tier below the other schools, part of the reason being 100 special needs students and 60 percent of its students being not proficient in English. The school has no PTA or boosters group but has attracted very helpful corporate sponsors.

Marina del Rey Middle School reports an encouraging change in the school’s morale and test results and reminded us that it is dealing with the past graduates of Del Rey elementary schools and those bused in from the inner city because of overcrowding.

Venice High, whileÝa bit down from its previous glory, still provides an outstanding college preparation program for achieving students.

The message I get from these educators is that they are really dedicated to bringing Del Rey students back to their schools. Bringing outside students from overcrowded schools has been necessary to keep some of our Del Rey Schools open. The construction of new schools will end this practice soon.

It is this simple — the future of Del Rey depends on having public schools that we are willing to send our children to. We need to be proactive with our schools to bring this about.

If I had known that The Argonaut had decided not to report on this meeting, I would have taken better notes.

Michael H. Stafford,, Los Angeles resident,, Communications Officer, Del Rey Neighborhood Council

Says most people aren’t aware of the 100th anniversary of Venice City Hall

To the Editor:

Do people in Venice know that this Halloween was the 100th anniversary of the Venice City Hall [now the home of Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center]? I’ll bet not. But, the question remains. How come?

And do they know that Abbot Kinney boycotted the opening celebration because he was miffed about its extreme location? It was not where he had wanted it, on property in town that he had hoped to donate. Yep. He wanted it his way or no way at all.

So, enough of today’s history lesson. Please give the building a good blessing the next time you pass by — and wish it a happy anniversary.

Paul Tanck, Venice

One of few at county meeting says it drew a ‘frightening picture’ of affordable housing

To the Editor:

I was one of just a few residents to attend the Los Angeles County’s Housing Element Meeting Wednesday, October 24th. The purpose of the meeting was to tell the county what people in Marina del Rey and the Fourth Supervisorial District need and want in the way of affordable housing.

The county Department of Regional Planning staff drew a frightening picture of unmet need for affordable housing. The County Board of Supervisors has failed to adequately address the problem. It seems the supervisors are planning to destroy the entire stock of reasonable-rate apartments in the Marina instead of concentrating on preservation of existing moderately-priced housing stock.

At the meeting we heard about people who are going to be evicted from moderately priced apartments that they love, and in which they are happy to raise their families.

We learned that current tenants are having moderate rents raised just before whole projects are scheduled for demolition.

If the county supervisors really wanted to hear what the Marina’s residents want and need, they needed to do adequate advertising of the meeting and its purpose. They should have put a notice in every lessee’s mailbox. Tenants did not know that the county was soliciting their opinions about the planning process.

Why doesn’t the county want to hear from us?

Carla Andrus, Marina del Rey

From the Editor

BY CAROL HECTOR

The Argonaut’s “Letters to the Editor” page is perhaps the most popular feature in our paper. It’s a chance for the public to comment on stories we’ve published or to give their individual opinions on local issues. It is truly interactive.

If you have considered writing to us but are not sure how to go about it, here are some tips for getting your letter published in The Argonaut.

First of all, we ask that your letter contain your first and last name, your address (not a post office box) and your phone number. Liveaboards may substitute a slip number for an address. Of course, if your letter is used, be assured that only your name and city or community will be published.

Your letter must be legible. Please type your letter or print clearly. If we can’t be absolutely sure of what you are saying, we can’t use your letter. Letters are accepted by mail, e-mail, fax or just about any other way you want to deliver it to us.

Please keep your letter short and to the point — 300 words or less on a single topic is best. Letters may be edited for length or clarity.

Sometimes we receive many letters on the same topic. When that happens, only a few will be chosen. If your letter takes a new slant on an oft-discussed topic, it has a greater chance of publication.

Keep it local. And what is local for The Argonaut? Anything that happens in or specifically concerns the communities of Santa Monica, Venice, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey, Westchester and the LAX area.

But, for example, although global warming does affect all of us, The Argonaut does not consider that a specifically local topic.

Occasionally a photo will help make your point. The easiest way to submit a photo is to e-mail your letter and attach the photo in the “jpg” format. You may also mail us a print if you like.

Letters are more credible when the facts are stated calmly. If you find yourself using multiple exclamation points and capitalizing entire words, its time to sit back and take a breath.

Letters airing personal disputes will not be used. Sorry, but most of our readers don’t care that the dry cleaner lost the brass button from your favorite jacket. In general, complaints about local businesses will not be published. We do not have any means of verifying your allegations and, for all we know, the business may have complaints about you too.

Please keep it courteous. Letters that personally attack a private or public individual will not run. You can be critical about a politician’s actions, but don’t bother calling them names.

Will my letter run? We often hear this question. The answer is maybe. Maybe this week, maybe next week, maybe not at all. Please don’t ask because, until the last minute we just don’t know. After all, space may be needed for a late-breaking news story. And you wouldn’t want to miss that, would you?

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